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Totally Immersive Home Movie Experience

3D Blu-RaysBæjarins BeztuHome Movie ExperienceHot DogsIcelandic Style Hot DogsImmersive Home Movie ExperienceImmersive Movie ExperienceMovie Style PopcornSurround SoundWhirley-Pop+-

A few weeks ago, Team Comrz came over to the Mews to experience my recently established Fully-Immersive Home Movie Set-up. The idea was to experience the best in sound and vision, and sample the finest cinema-style food (kind of American / Icelandic Style).


AV Equipment


The key components of my AV setup are nowhere near the top of their range as such, but they provide near enough the very best experience nonetheless:

  • Vision is provided by a Samsung UE46ES6800 46" 3D TV
  • Playback comes via Sony PS3 Slim Blu-Ray Player
  • Simulated surround sound comes via Yamaha YSP-2200 Sound Projector - which includes satellite sub


Sound and Vision


For our viewing / auditory pleasure, we started with some reference Blur-Ray sound demo segments - from the following titles:

  • City / Manufacturing / Chickens sequence from ’Baraka’
  • Bean / Drum sequence from ’House of Flying Daggers’
  • ’Once in a Lifetime’ from Talking Heads’ ’Stop Making Sense’
  • D-Day Landings sequence from ’Saving Private Ryan’


There was a lot of debate over which feature film to watch - to get the best combination of 3D and Sound.


The 10 best 3D Titles for picture / effect are generally held to be:

  • Avatar
  • Hugo
  • Life of Pi
  • Titanic
  • The Hobbit - An Unexpected Journey
  • The Adventures of Tin Tin
  • Tangled
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas
  • Transformers 3 - Dark of the Moon
  • Tron Legacy

In roughly that order.


For our purposes though, we needed a combination of best picture and sound - which meant it was really between the bottom two, and Tron Legacy was the one that got the most votes. The super-sharp visuals and crisp Daft Punk soundtrack make it a pretty lively and engrossing experience, even though the 3D effects aren’t quite up to the very best.


To accompany the home movie experience, we also had to have the best possible movie food - i.e. hot dogs and popcorn; not just any kind though, Icelandic-style hot dogs (all about the condiments q.v.) and proper movie-theatre-style popcorn.



Icelandic Style Hot Dogs


One of Reykjavik’s must-do experiences is a hot dog and coke from ’Bæjarins Beztu Pylsur’ or literally ’The Best Hot Dogs in town’. The Icelandic ones are a mix of pork, beef and lamb, and have particularly snappy casings - Bæjarins Beztu boil their ’dogs’ in beer and beef stock, and have the super fluffy buns steamed for extra softness. The real pièce de résistance though is in the condiments area - where you layer down tomato ketchup, finely chopped raw, then crispy fried onions, next the remoualde (a mayonnaise with pickled vegetables type of thing!), then the ’dog’ with a line of sweet mustard on top - as in the above photo which shows a genuine ’Bæjarins Beztu’ hot dog.


Being based in the UK, the tricky part is sourcing the right sort of ingredients; it’s strange that local supermarkets don’t tend to stock hot dog buns, but a visit to Ocado and Amazon online will get you all you need. I tend to use Knorr Vegetable stock cubes with a little lager poured in too - we were drinking Budvar, so some of that went in of course - next time I will try beef stock for a change. I also omitted the finely chopped raw onions, and sequenced the layers slight differently - my ingredients were as follows:


From Ocado / Waitrose:

  • Helen Browning Organic Hot Dogs / Unearthed Bavarian Frankfurters / Meica Trueman’s American Style Hotdogs
  • Hot Dog Rolls / Buns
  • Danfood Onion Salad Crispies
  • Swedish Eriks Remoulade
  • Slotts Senap Swedish Mustard (Can also use French’s)
  • Heinz Tomato Ketchup
  • Knorr Stock Pots / Cubes (Vegetable or Beef)
  • (Raw finely chopped onions are optional really)

From Amazon:

  • German Lukull Remoulade (alternative) (This one is easier to use as it comes in a squeezy bottle)
  • Danfood Onion Salad Crispies (comes in pallets of 16!)


A goood sized pot with beer + stock is brought up to the boil, then you turn the heat right down and drop in your hot dogs - letting them gently simmer for circa 5 minutes - before layering them up with your preferred condiments. The English hot dog rolls are a lot more stodgy than the Icelandic ones - you can try using Whartburtons Sub Rolls which are slightly larger, but closer to the texture of the Icelandic ones!



Movie-Theatre-Style Popcorn


This actually involves one very special implement, and just 3 ingredients - all of which can be sourced from Amazon:

  • Wabash Valley Farms Whirley-Pop Stovetop Popcorn Popper
  • Organic Popping Corn
  • Coconut Oil
  • Flavacol Seasoning


The essential kit here is the Whirley-Pop Popper which produces the best home-made popcorn you can get - in the above picture, there can be seen two bottles of Coconut Oil - this has a melting point of circa 40º C - which means I stand it in a bowl of hot water to get it liquid - as per in the right-hand bottle illustrated (left hand is solid at room temperature). For perfect popcorn you need 2-3 table spoons of Coconut Oil, 1/2 a cup of Popping Corn and 1/2 a teaspoon of Flavacol - it all goes into the pot together, and then you apply a medium-high heat. It takes just 3-4 minutes of turning the crank - to make a very generous amount of tasty popcorn - pour into bowl immediately, but let is stand a couple of minutes before digging in.

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